Another spring of bear hunting with kids


Feb 12, 2017
Portland, OR
It’s been a wonderful spring hunting Bears with my two boys ages four and seven. We spent a lot of time watching deer and elk; Watched a large bore for about 20 minutes as he grazed to within 25 yards of us Before I shewd him away. But this last week Iced the cake on multiple levels.

We were driving up a Forest Service Road, Breaking through the occasional melting snow drift, talking about A nice boar we had seen the night before. We came to get another snow drift and as I eased around it I felt the shoulder of the road giveaway. I put the forerunner in reverse in an attempt the back the left wheels back onto the road. But we only slip further off. I quickly realized we were screwed.

Packing for the 9 mile hike out With a four-year-old, a seven-year-old and a dog gave me time to reflect on being a dumb ass. It also gave me time to discuss our packing list with the kids. On the hike out I reminded the kids (and myself) this this was a learning and bonding experience that would make for a good story later on. With Each mile the kids fears turned more to laughter. Soon we are at the pavement. Thank goodness for the in-reach, as I hd been able to text my wife and She offered to drive 4 hours to meet us.

The next day I was able to arrange for a tow truck to crab walk us out. Waylon, My youngest said he was feeling a bit tired And wanted to go home with mom. My oldest, Desmond, and I headed off to look for bears.

Afternoon turned to evening and we hadn’t found any bears. It was almost dark as we snuck towards the last meadow of the evening (A spot a bear put the slip on us a few evenings prior). Through the trees I spotted a bear moving quickly out of the meadow towards opposite tree line. I rushed as quietly as low as possible to the corner of the meadow. I settled my crosshairs on the bear hoping he would stop and turn. He gave no ethical shot opportunity and disappeared into the shadows of the forest.

I looked at Desmond and said “that rascal gave us slip slip again”. I return to looking where the bear had disappeared and couldn’t believe What I was seeing. He was standing broadside in the shadows about 15 yards inside the tree line. His silhouette looked huge. I told my son “he’s right there”.

I crawled on my belly to get a clear shooting lane through the trees. Crosshairs settled for a double lung shot, Squeezed the trigger. The bare arches and whirls in a single motion and disappears. “Did you get him” Desmond calmly asks. “ yeah we got him” I said.

It was all but dark and threatening rain so I decided against waiting. We eased down to where the bear had been standing expecting to find a dead bear. No bear. No blood. I wasn’t too worried as I’ve found Bears Often don’t leave good blood trails. But I also don’t like the idea of looking for a potentially bounded bear in the dark with a seven-year-old. I asked Desmond to stand by the bear was and I would do a small circle within sight to see if the bear was easily visible. “No way. I’m not leaving your side” he said. A small circle and still no bear. I marked the spot where the bear has been standing then went up to where I shot from To make sure it was the correct spot and ranged it at 104 yards. I then checked all the branches around the shooting lane to ensure none were hit.

We then ran 3/4 mile back to the forerunner and drove it down to where I shot from. I had Desmond wait in the car and listen to the radio well I went to search. I told him it might take me a little while.

In the woods I couldn’t help question my shot. could my scope have been bumped and I missed? Was my shot too far back resulting in a suffering and wounded bear? I wondered how it would play out with rain getting ready to set in and wash away any possibility of finding blood the next day. I picked up tracks of what I believed to be a running bear. 100 yards later I was within 10 yards of something black on the ground. I held back my relief; maybe it’s just a burnt stump. I approached within 10 feet before l allowed relief to fully settled in. Yes! I found a dead bear. I was crowned shrinkage. He was not nearly as large as I thought, but I didn’t care because he did not suffer; I don’t have to pound the tickets looking for a wounded bear with a seven-year-old at my side.

I’m about 200 yards from my son in our vehicle. I gave a few hoots to let them know the bear has been found. I said off running to get Desmond because he had never been with me when I have harvested an animal so I wanted some pictures to capture the moment. I gave a few more hoots and hollers along the way to try to get his attention.

I arrive forerunner excited to tell Desmond that I found the bear. My excitement diminishes when I find my son bawling. “What’s going”on I asked. “I found the bear. it’s OK”
“I thought you were dead. I thought you’re being eaten by the bear when I heard you hollering”

Oh shit! In all of my narcissistic excitement I failed to think about how he would interpret what he was hearing in the dark.

Down at the bear we took some pictures then began the work Of breaking him down. As I gave gratitude for the bear and appreciation for his life Desmond looked at me and said “he’s going to taste good”. Bear has been a large part of our meat diet since I started bear hunting 4 years ago. I feel so fortunate to have been able to share this experience with son so that he can see the meat he eats comes from a living, breathing creature rather than an inanimate package on the supermarket shelf.
I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend this past spring bear hunting with my kids for they have taught me so much about myself and life.
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Sep 8, 2019
Beautiful story. Amazing bear. I hope I can make some stories like this with my boys (twin 3year olds) when they are the right age.

black dawg

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2017
sw mt
Cool story. It is funny sometimes the fears they have without ever letting us know. Had a young one with me and had bear at about 75 yards, and just never quite had a shot. Afterwards, she said " that was the scariest moment of my life". I was really surprised to hear that, seeing as has how she had been soo excited to get to go bear hunting.


Senior Member
Dec 22, 2020
Great story! Much respect for getting your kids out in the woods with you. Good stuff to keep in mind.